The Justice Department’s blanket refusal to turn over any Russia probe materials to House Democrats stands in stark contrast to its willingness to comply with request after request from GOP lawmakers when they held the House majority.
“They ended up producing a million pages of discovery,” House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff noted Wednesday on MSNBC, explaining that Justice Department officials released information related to both the already-closed Clinton email probe and the ongoing investigation by Robert Mueller, including classified information like FISA applications and private information on unindicted people like FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. In other words, absolutely every excuse deployed by the White House and Attorney General William Barr for not cooperating with Democratic requests has already been demolished by the precedent Justice Department officials set when Republicans controlled the House.
They say the Mueller investigation is “case closed”—so was the Clinton email case. They say they can’t give up information related to ongoing investigations—but they did so with the Mueller investigation, when it was Republicans asking. They say they can’t reveal classified material or private information related to people who haven’t been charged with a crime—but they did that in the cases of FISA applications and the Strzok/Page texts.
Schiff called William Barr’s letter claiming pre-emptive privilege plainly “hypocritical and disingenuous.”
“They gave a million pages of that information to a GOP Congress in answer to subpoenas,” he said, calling it a double standard. “All of this we can give to a GOP Congress about a Democratic candidate for president but we can’t even give you 450 pages of a report when it pertains to a Republican president and it’s asked for by a Democratic Congress.”
That’s the type of blatant hypocrisy the Trump administration will now be defending in court, Schiff said, “and I don’t think any court is going to look favorably on that.”